Casino International publisher Datateam Business Media has announced the launch of The British Casino Awards, in association with the National Casino Forum (NCF). Designed to benchmark and champion excellence in gaming, the event will take place at The Hippodrome Casino London, on Tuesday 6 February, and will be unlike anything else in the industry.

Commenting on the event’s ‘winning formula’, media director Paul Ryder says: “Celebrating the operators, products and people that keep the gaming industry thriving, the format of the event is in itself brand new to the marketplace, with several of the categories decided entirely by a secure online vote.”

In a first for the industry, a secure online voting process will produce five finalists in the voted-for categories, with an expert panel selecting the finalists and ultimately, the winners of several others.

Manufacturers and operators will be able to enter into any of the relevant categories online via The British Casino Awards website. They are also asked to nominate other companies and individuals for a British Casino Award, using the same simple online form.

Paul explains: “Our aim is to identify the best of the best and to achieve that, we need companies and individuals to do more than just enter. Do you know a casino that offers their customers an outstanding level of service? Tell us, by nominating them for a British Casino Award. Similarly, are you a casino that has customers queuing for a particular slot, for example, if so go ahead and nominate it. This is all about the industry coming together to celebrate its achievements during what is a busy buying period too.”

Entries and nominations must meet the necessary criteria to be allowed through to the voting and judging stage. A secure online voting process will then produce five finalists in the voted for categories, with an expert panel selecting the finalists and ultimately, the winners of the remaining categories. The winners, of course, will be announced on the night.

The awards themselves are split into three sections; ‘Operators’, ‘Products’ and ‘People’. The ‘Operators’ section will be voted for by the industry, categories include: Independent UK Casino Operator of the Year, Multiple UK Casino Operator of the Year, Overall Casino Operator of the Year, European Casino Operator of the Year, Best UK Marketing Programme, Best UK Casino Restaurant and Best UK Casino Customer Service.

The ‘Manufacturer’ awards cover gaming products manufactured globally and available in the UK, including Best UK Table Gaming Product (including ETG), Best UK Slot Product and Best UK CMS/Software Product. All are voted for by the industry.

The ‘People’ awards include Apprentice of the Year, Rising Star Award, Community Engagement Award, Lifetime Achievement Award and, which are all panel choice.

The National Casino Forum Diversity Award spans the three sections, and will be awarded to a company that has demonstrated a proactive attitude towards gender diversity. The winner of this award will have identified and removed conscious and unconscious bias, removed barriers to advancement, will be able to point to actions delivering positive change and ultimately encouraged, developed and supported its staff to achieve the highest positions throughout the business.

Commenting on the importance of the National Casino Forum Diversity Award, the NCF’s Tracy Damestani says: “We are delighted to be supporting the inaugural British Casino awards. It is an opportunity to showcase and celebrate all the fantastic work that goes on in the casino sector. There are so many positive stories to tell and this will be an opportunity for everyone in the industry, and beyond, to take inspiration from the good work being done throughout the sector.

“Casinos offer great long-term career opportunities for all and we are recognizing that with our ‘People Awards’. In particular, it is a flexible, female-friendly industry and nearly half of all managers are women. However, we’d like to bring greater diversity to the boardoom and our Diversity Award will recognise our commitment to making the industry fully representative at all levels”.

The British Casino Awards will open with a champagne and canapé reception at 7.30, and will include a high-profile speaker, a celebrity host, a two-course meal with wine, award presentations and after-dinner networking. The event will also accommodate attendees who might already have prior engagements during show season, by offering them a ‘balcony ticket’ available at a reduced price with later entry.

For more information, to enter and nominate visit www.britishcasinoawards.co.uk